He played the character of a typical Indian husband opposite Sridevi in English Vinglish which got him accolades and now Adil Hussain is all set to break some more barriers with his forthcoming films. Team Tittle Tattle sat for a quick chat with the suave actor who spoke about his recent appointment as the brand ambassador of the Northeast India Fashion Week and his next films opposite Hollywood and Bollywood biggies.
TT: Tell us about your experience with Northeast India Fashion Week
Adil: Well this is my second visit and the more interesting visit was the first one where I had been taken to the villages where I met the weavers and saw firsthand how they weave and how simply they weave, that means the contraction they use to weave could be as old as the history of weaving. There are two-three pieces of bamboos and the thread and they churn out these amazing fabrics….
The fabric tells the emotional history, the cultural history of themselves of they must have interacted with the plants with the animals, the connection with…the earth. And that comes in their design which sort of fascinated me because I also studied costume designing at the National Institute of Drama and when Yana talked about how they want to bring the weavers in the forefront..and most of the times they’re the ones who are left behind and then they don’t even get the limelight neither do they get the financial benefit out of it, if at all there’s a profit. She [Yana] approached me and invited me to come for a tour and I said okay and then this [Northeast India Fashion Week] came up and to my utter surprise PETA was also here with their campaign. So far I’m delighted and honoured.
TT: What do you have to say about this initiative to highlight the weavers?
Adil: I think the way the world is going, the mode of the society that when we get so easily mesmerised by the outside facade, the glitter and the gloss but what goes inside the content – the hardwork… like the farmers – nobody cares about the farmers. Everybody likes to eat their food and if it is sold in the most beautiful packets, we try to buy and if it is sold by Walmart or if it is sold by Reliance or Natures Basket, so we buy them and we don’t give a damn about the person who is actually tilling the land, ploughing the land and sweating away to glory. How much actually that person is getting out of it? I am buying a kilo of say broccoli and I’m paying Rs. 200 but I doubt the actual farmer…what they’re getting.
Similarly the weavers’ situation is such that they don’t get the benefit nor they’re glorified. I’ve seen their lives and I’m not saying they’re unhappy, I guess they’re very happy but it is unfair on us – the civilised!
It’s unfair on them that we deprive them of the basic necessities which we city people have gotten certain way of earning money from the privileges that we get. So I think this is an amazing initiative not only because of the financial benefits that is if at all they get but also the fact that to celebrate the idea of that creative tendency and with very little means. And they’re happy about it that they create and that in itself is worthwhile to bring the weavers in the forefront – to celebrate the creative tendency, the spontaneity and the drive.
TT: You have been closely associated with the weavers across Northeast? Where all have been?
Adil: I grew up in a village so I know most of the weavers in my home district and also my town is 8 kms from Meghalaya (Goalpara), so there and Miri villages, so I’ve interacted with them since my childhood. But to come to Arunachal (Pradesh) and to see them and their way of weaving…because Assamese weavers have quite a complicated system, we call it Taatkaal which if compared to what they do here in Arunachal is a sophisticated machine. So it’s a pleasure to interact with people who give birth to something that we enjoy, just by paying some money like we pay for a good movie, we pay money we have our vegetables, we pay money and we fly but we do not understand or we do not even want to know what is the consequence of our superficial way of engaging ourselves in the society that can be found out, investigated that who’s behind it and appreciate it by celebrating it.
TT: What about your fashion statement?
Adil: [Laughs] It is a difficult one to articulate because I feel that anything that you wear, it could be clothes or jewellery that you’re wearing, somehow one has to find things to wear which will enhance your potential temperament rather than what you are. The potential person that you’d like to be which is your highest idea about yourself. And there is nothing wrong in wearing something that doesn’t go with you but I’m trying to say that’s my idea of fashion, okay this is where I’d like to reach as a person, I’d like to grow to become this person and if I help them to remind that they’d like to be this person and it this is something that could be incorporated in your costume and I mean it could be the simplest way. You know the word called Shilpa, means Sheela, Yog, Alpa which means little in the art – on a piece of rock you do very little but express the most. So how is it possible for any art or anything that I use which is very art is involved – clothes, the way I talk, the way I do my hair or shoes…how is it possible to do very little and yet it carries some inherent meaning which is in tandem with the rest of the world and where did it come from, if it makes sense to you.
TT: Which is your next film?
Adil: My next film which I am very proud of is going to be shown on the sidelines of Venice Film Festival called directed by a 24 year old guy and written by him, his name is Subhash Bhutiyani. It’s a story about a son and father, so I play the son who takes his father to fulfil his last to die in Benaras and about the strange relationship between the father and the son, from very small town and how a little harmony comes in the background of Benaras and death, in English it is called Hotel Salvation and I think in Hindi it’d be called Mukti Bhavan. So I am going with this to Venice, this month. And then I have another film which I think will turn out really good, it’s produced by the same producers as Life of Pi and it’s called Love Sonia. It’s about sex trafficking, where two girls from an Indian village are being smuggled to LA and about how the journey happens. It’s directed by first time director Tabrez Noorani who is based in LA. Demi Moore is acting in it and Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadha, Freida Pinto and Rajkumar Rao are also there.
TT: Any message for your fans?
Adil: It’s important for me to be a little curious about good films and not sort of buy the films which are thrown and bombarded by television on your face. Just ask around where you can find a good film. There are fantastic films being made in India now-a-days. And if they [audience] could be a little more curious and investigate, to see some meaningful films than spending some Rs. 200-300 and buying popcorns and going to cinema halls and watch something that doesn’t please you or make sense to you…and it does not contribute to your life. I know the argument behind, that one doesn’t want to think about a film and wants to get entertained but it’s just a few weeks of trying and you will be entertained in a much more deeper way that it will make you feel good. If they can do that then India can become a place where fantastic films will be made.